Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? Past Arc ⑨

Humans 1.0 suck. Would Humans 2.0 be better or worse?

Past Arc ⑨

Sariel pondered. What should she do? However, the answer never came to her.

The more effort she puts into helping one person, the more likely someone else will be sacrificed. The more she tries to resolve one problem, the more new problems arise. It was an endless chain. No matter what she did there would always be some people she couldn’t help. No matter how much she tried to help them, they would never be saved.

There was a person who fell ill and expelled from the village. It wasn’t an infectious disease, but in those days medical treatment had not yet been developed, so there was nobody who understood that. Having been driven out from the village, Sariel lent a helping hand to save the sick person, who otherwise could do nothing except wait for death. She cured the disease, and sent the person back to the village restored to health.

The next day, that person was burnt at the stake by the other villagers.

The witch used a devil to cure the disease. No, not just that, the witch sold her soul to the devil, and came for revenge. Either way, since the witch has returned the disease might spread anyway, so better kill her.

Why? Why? Why, why, why, why, why, why, why?

People are afraid of things they don’t understand. The person who fell ill and was driven from the village immediately came back healthy. It was something beyond human reasoning. Rather than rejoicing in the miracle, they became horrified instead. Before all that, they had driven out a sick person. Holding their own lives precious, they abandoned the sick person who needed aid. They dodged their feelings of guilt by saying that the one at fault was the sick person. That by selling her soul to the devil to be cured of the disease, there’s no mistaking that she has returned for revenge after being cast out.

The sick person had spoken to Sariel.

「Thank you. Now I can live together with my family again.」

That family, had gathered up kindling for burning her at the stake of their own free will.

No matter how hard Sariel tried by using her power, the tragedies did not end. Instead, the more she used her power, the darker the tragedies would become.

They never end. They never end. Even when they seemed to end, they never end.

Poverty. Discrimination. War. Crime.

There are times when people do something bad. There was also never times when nobody did something bad. There was also times when everyone did something bad.

Equally, those were all tragedies that occurred precisely because they were human.

The existence of wealthy people, means that the poor also exist. People hope for equality, and anyone who deviates from the norm is hated, and discriminated against. Despite all that they aim higher, trying to achieve a superior position to the norm. And then, as a consequence of trying to achieve a superior position, they then compete with rivals.

The tragedy never ends. The reason being, is that humans are living creatures that cause tragedies. Hating tragedies, and while causing tragedies to occur, they still pile up more tragedies. It was as if they were envious of the sick person who was burnt at the stake, and went out of their way to stock up kindling.

They are irrational. While having a mind that hates tragedy, their actions promote tragedy. That contradiction is far too irrational for living creatures. Nevertheless, that’s how humans are. That irrational and imperfect creature, is exactly what humans are. A creature that is rational and perfect, cannot be called human anymore. Even though they cannot, humans still work towards that goal. As long as humans are human, they’ll never be able to reach that goal though. And also, the more people try to aim for that goal, the more new tragedies are created. The reason being, is that to aim for that goal means to aim higher, an action where only the person in question tries to deviate from the norm, betraying those who love equality. And then humans would show no mercy to one who deviated from the norm. It has always been the case that those who are different become discriminated against. For humans to be able to aim higher, the only way is for them to slowly make progress in lock step with their surroundings. Thus, because that means they could only advance about as fast as a walking tortoise, humans don’t make progress. Even as civilization progresses, their insides are never making progress.

Thus while aiming higher, they spend forever going round in circles in the same place. Round and round.

「Potimas Hyphenath is violating the providence of god! He should be purged at once!」

In response to that extreme statement, although the President of Dazdoldia managed to avoid showing it on his face, he felt a headache coming on. Because of this overly long lasting conference, his head really felt heavy. It was due to fatigue, but also due to the agenda.

In response to the extreme statement just now various voices of approval were raised, as well as voices of criticism. Even though it was a spacious conference room, the loud voices of the members talking to each other resounded painfully.

The agenda was regarding the publication of the scientific investigations by the researcher Potimas Hyphenath. Whether to approve of it or to denounce it. This conference had been opened in order for the country to consolidate opinion. However, going by the state of things within the conference room, everyone could see that the agenda had become confused.

Potimas had announced two new discoveries. The first was called MA Energy, the discovery of a strange energy, and the successful practical applications of it. Energy supply was a problem that all advanced countries should be concerned about. Oil and coal were not unlimited of course, and the rate of consumption was rising year by year. Even if it wouldn’t happen soon, eventually they would become noticeably exhausted, so energy development for the next generation was something necessary. Then, a solution suddenly appeared before their very eyes.

Apparently, MA Energy was an energy that would never run out, and could potentially be used anywhere. So long as you have the dedicated facilities for it, an infinite amount of energy could be extracted from anywhere.

In response to such a dream-like slogan, the President had in private immediately discounted it as absurd. Infinite energy doesn’t exist. It’s just a pipe dream. It’s not like a dream, but literally a dream. It might seem to be infinite, but a limit will definitely exist.

Besides, the President read through Potimas’s published essay that was at hand. Written in there was the method to extract MA Energy and the method to convert that into electrical energy, but there was no description of what MA Energy actually was. It was simply described as being an alternative energy that simply sprung forth infinitely. Such a suspicious form of energy cannot be used.

The President had already come up with a response to that privately. However, the reason for the conference being disordered to this extent, was due to the other announcement.

The other discovery that Potimas had announced. That was a method to evolve the human body using MA Energy. By utilising MA Energy, it was said to be possible to make humans evolve.

According to data recorded within the clinical experiment in the essay, the test subject’s physical abilities were remarkably improved, speed of thought showed a slight increase, and most of all, the lifespan was extended by a factor of 3 beyond the theoretical value. If the results alone could be believed, it was tremendous. To prove that, Potimas had made the test subject put on a demonstration, rewriting the sports record books one after the other. That alone was enough to boost the essay’s credibility, but a vast quantity of data was also included in order to substantiate it. The volume of data included to support the lifespan improvement was particularly vast, and though it was extended by approximately 3 times the theoretical value, it was stated by reasoning that taking preserving health into account the actual value was between 2.5 times and 2.75 times the theoretical value.

Normally, such things would be junked as the nonsense of a mad scientist. However, because it was from Potimas Hyphenath, it was a different story. Developing equipment for brain transplants, the production of human clones, the normalisation of cancer cells. These new announcements came from a genius who had already produced such numerous achievements. Moreover, there was the inclusion of the test subject. It would be dangerous to say that it was faked.

More than anything, it was not the sort of thing that people would want to deny. The extension of lifespan. The evolution of humans. There wasn’t anything more wonderful than those.

For this reason, the conference had became disordered. The President had already come to a private conclusion. If MA Energy was disavowed, then the use of that for evolution would also have to be disavowed. However, with the confused atmosphere within the conference room, that was unlikely to be agreed upon.

The conference continued. A choice was to be made for humans, who were not progressing. Would they evolve, or not? If they evolved, would they actually progress?


Translation notes:

“Witch” – in the original, there is no specific reference to this word or the gender of the villager who Sariel healed. However, it’s pretty much impossible to keep this distinction in the English translation so based on the image that “burning at the stake is for witches” and “selling your soul to the devil is what witches do”, I used this word and a female gender even though it’s technically wrong.

Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? Past Arc ⑧
Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? Past Arc ⑩